Three Eagles players who need to take the next step for Philadelphia in 2023

The Philadelphia Eagles were a dominant team in 2022 thanks to significant contributions from players up and down the roster. Here are three young stars that need to take another step in 2023.
Nakobe Dean, Philadelphia Eagles
Nakobe Dean, Philadelphia Eagles / Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
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Derek Barnett, Defensive End

The only remaining member of the Eagles 2017 NFL Draft class has frustrated fans and media members for his lack of awareness and penalties for quite some time now. Barnett signed a contract extension before the 2022 season but tore his ACL in the opener during a road game versus the Detroit Lions. He missed the remainder of the season, but the Eagles had plenty of depth to fill his role. Now, it's time for Barnett to prove he is worthy of the first-round pick Philly used on him.

Barnett is again being asked to be a key piece in the defensive line's rotation. Josh Sweat and Brandon Graham will also be in the mix. It's a long season though, and Graham is aging.

The Eagles will likely use Barnett in pass-rushing situations along with Haason Reddick. The latter dominated last year. With Javon Hargrave's departure, the Eagles will need someone to help fill the void he left. Barnett enters his seventh season. If there are no fireworks, we may be witnesing his final days as an Eagle.